CBS Sought to 'Mollify Right' in Rather Investigation

Ex-anchor's lawsuit reveals GOP influence
By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Nov 17, 2008 2:13 AM CST
Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather is interviewed in New York last year.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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(Newser) – Former anchor Dan Rather appears to be making headway in his $70 million lawsuit against CBS for his firing, the New York Times reports. With the power of subpoena, Rather has unearthed documents showing that the network used Republican operatives to vet members of the supposedly independent panel set up to investigate the 2004 60 Minutes segment about President Bush’s National Guard service that got Rather axed.

The documents include notes by a CBS exec that give the thumbs-down to one potential panel member because he wouldn’t “mollify the right.” A staunchly conservative candidate made the cut after getting “high marks from the GOP.” Other documents indicate that panel members were updating CBS on the investigation when the network claimed to be uninvolved with the proceedings. The segment presented information allegedly demonstrating favorable treatment allowing Bush an easy service stint during the Vietnam War.